When Apple released the iPhone 5S and 5C in late September of 2013, fingerprint scanning technology took center stage. Two days later, however, a group of German hackers known as the Chaos Computer Club tricked the scanner and taught the rest of us peons how to successfully bypass Apple’s new technology with a glue model of someone’s fingerprint.

Despite the setback, many remain excited about fingerprint scanning. Some even speculate that its now widespread integration into our society will soon lead to the creation of a brand new world, one without passwords, credit cards, identity theft or fraud.

As far-fetched and idealistic as the above may sound, biometrics will unquestionably change the way people buy and sell goods and services. How sweeping that change will be, and how soon we’ll be able to measure its global impact is up for debate, but there’s no escaping the fact that ecommerce is quickly moving toward a future that is more personalized and secure.

Inspired by recent advancements in biometrics, we decided to take a look at what the ecommerce landscape might look like say… five years from now.  Doing so encouraged the creation of this article, and we hope you enjoy our list of five bold predictions for the future of online sales.

Fingerprints Will Replace Credit Cards

Credit cards will soon become a thing of the past. In the future, e-wallets will be synched to an individual’s fingerprint, making the online checkout process streamlined, safe, secure and easy.

Before you attempt to debunk this prediction, keep in mind that fingerprint scanning technology will advance in the next five years, and the security problems Apple is currently facing are sure to become a thing of the past as heat sensors, in conjunction with wearable tech, will no doubt improve upon existing technology.

Wearable Tech Will Change the Way We Shop

Companies like Google, LinkMe, Nike, Misfit Wearables, Sproutling and Embrace+ are pioneering the wearable tech industry. Soon smart bracelets, watches, glasses, etc. will become standard in our society, similar to the way smartphones are today.

With wearable tech devices, people will be able to walk into a store and have personalized notifications sent to them based on exact geo-targeting and previous shopping habits. This will create an extremely personal buying experience while also forcing marketers to tailor messages to the individual rather than a group.

Wearable tech will affect ecommerce as well as shoppers will be able to store passwords, payment information, past purchases, spending habits, wish lists, etc. to their device of choice. In fact, we believe these devices will have a proximity sensor that will allow computers to pull data from one's wearable tech the moment it's in range.

Smart Glass Will Dominate the Industry

Companies like Corning Glass are revolutionizing the tech industry by pioneering responsive, touch-driven display glass that will soon be used to make just about everything in our lives interactive.

In the future, we believe smart glass will become standard in everyday household appliances, countertops, mirrors, automobiles, you name it. This technology will allow us to use touch screens on our refrigerators, for example, to re-order and purchase groceries when food supplies dwindle.

For a more in-depth look at smart glass technology and how it will change the future, we invite you to watch Corning's revolutionary video, “A Day Made of Glass.”

Little Dogs Will Rule the Day

Industry Giants like Amazon and eBay rule the current ecommerce landscape, but in the future, boutique stores will become the alpha dog.

A growing percentage of online consumers are already seeking out niche operations to sustain their shopping habits. So rather than turning to the 'big dogs' to buy products online, people will continue to seek out boutique stores that specialize in a particular product or group of products.

The Number of Online Stores in the U.S. Will Double

According to an annual study conducted by Referral Candy, there are 102,728 online stores in the United States that have yearly sales totals above $12,000. This figure represents a 13.6% annual growth rate, leading us to believe the total number will double in the next five years.

Parting Thoughts

The world of online sales is, and always will be, an industry driven by technology. And if we've learned anything over the years it's to expect everything. Like it or not, the ecommerce landscape as we know it is changing, and you can either get on board and drive the technology bus or take a back seat and enjoy the view. The choice is yours.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please submit your queries in the field below. Also, if you would like to share some of your own bold predictions for the future of ecommerce, we would love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and happy selling.